Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"Guns, chaos, regulations…"

Under the impression that demands for their services, such as they can be said to exist, include the charge of guiding the actions of individuals who, for good or bad, operate with different aims or under different values, municipal politicians are typically unable to do more than issue media-friendly civic disapprovals of unsocial activities like gun violence where the regulatory and punitive facilities lie outside their jurisdictions. This usually results in no more than wasted newsprint and reporters' time.

And at least in London, the requisite banalities of mayor Anne Marie DeCicco are no more than uninteresting and uninformative:

There are too many weapons on London streets, Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco warned the police services board[…]
Unfortunately for the citizens of Toronto, the banalities of mayor David Miller suggest something else:
“If you're arrested for possession of an illegal gun, you should be treated exactly the same way” as if the weapon were used, he said.

“There's only one reason to have an illegal gun, it's to shoot people.”
Do you think, David Miller? With this kind of apparatchik lack of imagination, regulatory infractions — for example, not abiding by the gun registry — would achieve the status of crimes. I could hope that the mayor of Toronto look to Anne Marie DeCicco for inspiration and confine his attempts to appear to be doing something to mouthing impotent opprobriums.

David Miller quote via Jay Jardine.

Update: From Jerry Aldini:
Toronto Mayor David Miller mused a couple of weeks ago that law-abiding gun owners should be forced to store their firearms in a central depot. I wonder if Torontonians are more, or less, enthusiastic about this idea after watching TV the past few days?


Lisa said...

Says Miller: “There's only one reason to have an illegal gun, it's to shoot people.”

So he is suggesting we charge people possessing unregistered guns with hypothetical murder?

Don't think bad thoughts either citizen - you might be pulled from your bed in the middle of the night by the authorities.

darcey said...

They can try and pull me but I may have a gun...Isn't this one of the reasons the US has the right to bear arms?

Dick said...

Hasn't complete handgun registration been around in Canada since 1934? The year which is coincidentally also the apex of that magical 'red ensign' glory era!

As a side note, I in fact keep a choice selection of century old unsmuggled illegal handguns for the sole purpose of shooting beer bottles off my downtown Toronto neighbour's balcony.

C'mon kids, it's harmless fun!

MapMaster said...

Dick, I hope you have your neighbour's consent.

Pietr said...

Map,I think Dick is one of those people who confuse their own screaming with being screamingly funny.

Dick said...

Truth be told, I'm pretty ambivalent to the whole situation. I have no problem with gun ownership and have several myself.

I just can't fathom a possible legitimate reason to brandish an illegal handgun in Downtown Toronto after 71 years of strict regulation. While I wouldn't go as far as Miller (who was somewhat misquoted by the G&M), it does raise some suspicion. Perhaps rather than confusing my own screaming, I am in need some serious enlightenment... I suppose that goes without saying though.

MapMaster said...

I wouldn't be surprised if David Miller was misquoted, but I'm inclined to dispose of the benefit of the doubt for him ;-)

Brandishing a gun on the streets is one thing — I'm sure there are already laws for that kind of mischief, and it is certainly a mischief if for any other reason than defense — but possession is altogether another. Miller's statement implies that an infraction of an arbitrarily imposed regulation is equivalent to an actual crime. It also confuses an implement, an inanimate object that can be used for good or for harm, with intent or action. This kind of moral ambivalence and indistinction between meanings, I think, is one of the reasons we often have such arbitrary and incoherent outcomes in the judicial system.

But if David Miller was misquoted to the extent that his meaning was otherwise, I retract my criticism of the person.

Pietr said...

Hey Dick, I'm in the Unificated Royal Kingdom of Gross Brittain.
We aren't allowed to own real guns. If we are extremely respectable we might be able to own a shotgun(for shooting Pheasant or Grouse).
I have even had a go myself(under the supervision of a criminally insane pillar of society)at Skeet.

But you own(YES,OWN!) real guns.
I envy you.
Hats off and all that.
I once lodged with an Israeli Defence Force Captain;he had a lovely Beretta 9mm.
It was around the time of that particular visit that I realised the British are forbidden to have lives.